1 December 2020 – 23 February 2021
TJC has collaborated with The Embroiderers Guild, Victoria to present JUBILATION: Diamonds & Pearls, our annual Christmas / Summer at The Johnston Collection exhibition.
2020 marks both the 60th anniversary of The Embroiderers Guild, Victoria and the 30th anniversary of the public opening of Fairhall exhibition-house.
JUBILATION | Diamonds & Pearls features works by members from among the eleven Branches and one Country Group of The Embroiderers Guild, Victoria. These will be seen along with works from the Guild’s collection of textiles from Australia and abroad collected over some 60 years and an array of new works made especially for TJC’s annual ‘inspired by’ show.
Guest co-curators Alison Cole and Yvonne Walton have hand-picked some remarkable contributions from Guild embroiderers who have exhibited work in over fifteen years of Christmas exhibitions at TJC.
The Johnston Collection is delighted to present works of embroiderers who have created new pieces and returning items displayed throughout the rooms of Fairhall the exhibition house against the backdrop of William Johnston’s own extraordinary collection.
Dorothy Morgan, TJC Exhibition Coordinator says that, “It is wonderful to welcome back to The Johnston Collection old friends, as well as to see some of the treasures of The Embroiderers Guild’s Collection of historic embroidery and embroidery tools.”
JUBILATION | Diamonds & Pearls features over fifteen years of work by Victorian-based embroiderers made for our popular exhibition which began in 2003. In the first invitation to exhibit in 2003, Nina Stanton, then Director put a challenge to Guild members and asked them to decorate select rooms at Fairhall as a home for Christmas.
What did we get? A truly spectacular seasonal delight for anyone interested in arts, crafts, antiques and holiday season decorating. That year embroiderers created decorations inspired by the collection and Fairhall, and created a truly elegant and unique Christmas display. "The results are even more wonderful than we had imagined," said Nina. "The hours each group has put into the work, and the types of decorations they have created make the holiday season very special."
Since the initial Summer exhibition of groups and guilds, TJC has crisscrossed the State from Ballarat (2006) to Bendigo (2008); Geelong (2009) to Gippsland (2015); Warrnambool (2010) to Wangaratta (2011), as well as Castlemaine (2007), the Mornington Peninsula (2013) and the Surf Coast (2014) embracing nearly all groups of The Embroiderers Guild in Victoria.
Over that time hundreds, if not thousands, of Guild members have participated in making new works inspired by the Collection, bringing recognition and appreciation of extraordinary creativity found throughout the regions of Victoria.
Now, in 2020, Alison Cole, guest co-curator remarks that, “The Embroiderers Guild, Victoria is proud to present JUBILATION: Diamonds & Pearls at The Johnston Collection. It is the culmination of three years of planning and creating for your visual pleasure.”
Each room of Fairhall has works that are grouped by various themes. The Green Drawing Room feature works based on Christmas, whilst other rooms have works grouped under the themes of Wedding and Opulence; Dressing For An Evening’s Outing and Apparel & Accessories. The exhibition culminates in a magnificent Wonder Room bursting with numerous embroidered and embellished butterflies and other creatures.
Wendy Findlay, State President, EGV, has reminded us that “In this, our 60th year, JUBILATION features 75 stitchers – a broad cross section of our membership from across the State. City and country, young and young at heart, new members and those that have been with us for 60 years – a celebration of our membership and the embroidery that they love.”
By design, TJC’s annual exhibition is based on our benefactor, William Johnston’s own craft‐related skills, in which he was encouraged to make things at an early age. Johnston, the son of a bootmaker, was a competent knitter, and was taught basic sewing and tailoring skills, as well as upholstery, all of which led him into an early career in soft furnishings.
Inspired by the Collection, a gift from William Johnston to the people of Victoria, our annual Summer exhibition responds to traditional ways of making through makers’ thinking and practices.
JUBILATION | Diamonds & Pearls offers an ‘inspired’ display in Fairhall and celebrates 60 magnificent years of making by The Embroiderers Guild, Victoria.
Kathleen Ashby | p. 03 9416 2515 | m. 0414 156 723 e. email@example.com | w. johnstoncollection.org
ALISON COLE | Co-curator JUBILATION: Diamonds & Pearls
“The Embroiderers Guild, Victoria is proud to present JUBILATION: Diamonds & Pearls at The Johnston Collection. It is the culmination of three years of planning and creating for your visual pleasure.”
“The Room of Wonders awaits you – embroidered butterflies, dragonflies and flowers created by the members of The Embroiderers Guild, Victoria.”
YVONNE WALTON | Co-curator JUBILATION: Diamonds & Pearls
“Celebrating the Pearl anniversary of The Johnston Collection and the Diamond Anniversary of The Embroiderers Guild, Victoria, JUBILATION: Diamonds & Pearls is a visual feast of embroidered textiles.”
“There’s more to embroidery tools than thimble, scissors, and thread. What’s an etui, what’s a bodkin?”
DOROTHY MORGAN | TJC Exhibition Coordinator
“As an embroiderer myself I am very excited about the way this exhibition brings together so much from the world of textiles - there is something for absolutely everyone.”
“It is wonderful to welcome back to The Johnston Collection old friends such as the rather superior and knowing angel ‘Octavia’ and a playful family of soft sculpture rabbits, as well as to see some of the treasures of The Embroiderers Guild’s Collection of historic embroidery and embroidery tools.”
WENDY FINDLAY | State President, The Embroiderers Guild, Victoria On the 60th Anniversary of The Embroiderers Guild, Victoria
“From its inaugural meeting of The Embroiderers Guild, Victoria in June 1960, enthusiastic women have met at Embroidery House in Malvern to share in their love of embroidery as well as enjoying the friendship of likeminded individuals.
Many special interest groups meet throughout the month, for members to support each other in a range of embroidery techniques, as well as conserving our collection of historic embroideries and looking after our vast resource library.
In this, our 60th year, we started the celebrations with an exhibition featuring 60 Stitchers – a broad cross section of our membership from across the State. City and Country, young and young at heart, new members and those that have been with us for 60 years – a celebration of our membership and the embroidery that they love – kicked off with a Champagne Soiree on a stormy January evening. The Guild was resplendent - decorated with over 650 embroidered diamonds made by our members from across the State.
As a special memento for our members to embroider, an exceptional band sampler was created by a team of talented members featuring traditional patterns and typical Australian flora and fauna. We also purchased engraved scissors, pens and pins as keepsakes of our special anniversary.
While COVID-19 has curbed our celebrations and we have had to cancel special workshops with international tutors and postpone our celebratory high tea and annual member exhibition, we have kept creating at home - working towards JUBILATION: Diamonds & Pearls at The Johnston Collection.”
Alison Cole detail of ‘tree topper’ Jubilation!, 2020 Goldwork embroidery Photography Credit: Alison Cole